The Rule of Law and the Administration of Justice in Contemporary
Southern Sudan Remain at a Slow Pace
By Beny Gideon Mabor,
The rule of law and the administration of justice in southern
Sudan before and after the signing of the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement, CPA/2005, still remain on slow progress as expected of us at this critical time after transformation of the guerrilla movement into government and a proper legal system.
However, the main challenge goes to the rule of law institutions entrusted with the national task of accountability, transparence, respect for the rule of law and procedural justice.
But the worrying question is that the custodians of law are using national legislation to meet their private interests to mention a few by use of unconstitutionality to obtain evidence which often resulted into unfair trials. This is something detrimental to the administration of justice and prohibited by the Bill of Rights set forth in Article 18 and Article 23(3) (4) of the interim constitution of the Southern Sudan ICCS/2005 and a legal duty reference to the conclusive competences of Southern Sudan Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development Organization Act 2008, the INC/2005 and the law respectively
Notwithstanding, there is a raising alarm of unfair judgment and pending trial where these cases whether civil or criminal offences are sometime lesser charges that would have been settled in due course but delayed up to three to four years unreasonably. Justice delayed is justice denied. With this episode, it increases violation and the citizens take the law into their own hands because they normally lose hope for prompt justice intervention and even alleged that the case might be politically influenced or motivated in favor of the accused. For example, in murder cases where justice is delayed, the relatives of the deceased may revenge before the release of the verdict and continuously fuel the insecurity to the innocent parties.
The Judiciary of Southern Sudan at every level lacks trained judges, support staff or resources. Where judges are available, courts are rudimentary and lack even the basic essentials such as recorders and clerks. Nevertheless, many judges accept to having limited knowledge of customary law while over 90% of our day to day criminal and civil cases in
Southern Sudan are executed under customary laws, reference to the research study of Customary Law In Contemporary Southern Sudan by Justice Aleu Akechak and Robert A Leitch in the year 2004.
To the Public Attorneys and Legal Advisors, despite the functions and powers provided for in the ICSS/2005, the INC/2005 and the Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development Organization Act 2008, read together, they amongst other duties have powers to supervise cases to which any level of Government is a party and conduct pre-trail proceedings and summary dismissal of cases if it is inadmissible evidence, hence seem to having received cases report without application of the said legal instruments and continues issuing petitions even for common misdemeanors which also increase level of omissions and commissions disrespectfully.
In conclusion, I am writing to the rule of law institutions namely the Judiciary of Southern Sudan, Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development to expedite its legal systems into practical aspect as determined by the present laws of
Southern Sudan. I also appeal to the Donor partners and specifically the institutional capacity building programs in collaboration with GoSS institutions concerned to conduct training in areas of customary law, good governance and English languages courses for Arabic-oriented judges and legal advisors, to enable them provide competent legal service across the region.
Beny Gideon Mabor
This release is a personal statement and does not represent any level of Government in the
Sudan. For inquiry please do not hesitate to contact me thro